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Market Report

Charleston Office Market Report

2024 Investment Forecast

Pause in Groundbreakings Sets Stage for Charleston’s
Office Market to Begin Recovery

This year marks a transitionary period as momentum is poised to shift. While office vacancy in Charleston may rise this year, as deliveries pick up amid a lower number of move-ins, the metric is positioned to improve longer-term. At the start of 2024, virtually no projects were underway with completion dates for 2025 and beyond. Additionally, roughly 80 percent of traditional offices slated for delivery this year were pre-leased, reflecting sustained tenant needs for amenity-rich configurations and the diminishing availability of these builds. Most speculative space will come to Berkeley County, where deliveries appear well-warranted, as the area preserved the metro’s lowest vacancy at under 2.5 percent for most of last year. Nevertheless, older properties are facing greater challenges as a byproduct of preferences shifting to newer properties. Offices built prior to 2018 observed a net relinquishment of nearly 200,000 square feet last year, compared to net absorption of similar magnitude for buildings completed after that date. While tenants may compete to secure leases at newer offices, operators of older buildings should temporarily grapple with higher vacancy, likely motivating an ease in asking rates.
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